Last week, the Journal of the American Medical Association published papers revealing that, in 1965, the sugar industry paid three scientists from Harvard to draw attention away from the connection between sugar and heart disease and focus instead on fat. In their findings they relegated sugar to a problem for the dentist, not the cardiologist.
What those scientists did skewed the conversation about fat and health for decades, let sugar go pretty much unchecked until it found its way into virtually every packaged product on the market, and encouraged millions of Americans to avoid fat in favor of simple carbohydrates. Fat-free cookies, fat-free ice cream, fat-free fat.
Meanwhile, since 1965, we have only become heavier. Roughly 2 billion people worldwide are now overweight, and 600 million of them are obese. And cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death globally. Over the next 20 years, the World Economic Forum estimates that developed nations will spend $47 trillion on diseases caused by the global-industrial diet.
So why, if we were limiting our fat consumption based on their recommendations, did this happen?